Tonight, the Mount Union Purple Raiders face off against St. Thomas for DIII supremacy. The Stagg Bowl kickoff — slated for 7 PM on ESPNU — features the nation’s two best offenses as MU and STU both have averaged over 50 points a game this season.
Both teams have done it behind balance. In particular, St. Thomas boasts the fifth best total offense (529.4 yards per game) behind the perfect blend of passing (271.4 yards a game) and rushing (258.1).
Jordan Roberts — the Tommies star running back — has been the epitome of that balance.
Roberts came to St. Thomas from the DI FCS program of South Dakota. He played for two seasons there, putting up some nice numbers: 1,001 total yards and three touchdowns.
Then Roberts found a new calling, something greater than football.
Roberts went through some tough personal times when he was in South Dakota. As he puts it, it “left me searching for answers.” Those answers where found in his faith, which led him to St. Thomas.
Once at St. Thomas, he enrolled in St. John Vianney, the Seminary on campus. Roberts decided to study to become a priest, but he also knew he still had a passion for football.
It’s not often that you read a story about one of the nation’s elite running backs, and learn that they are studying to become a priest. Those are two walks of life that are seemingly based on rigorous schedules and standards. As the featured back in newer system and a seminarian as well, Roberts has learned that life is about achieving balance.
That balance has reflected in his play and his team’s success. I think head coach Glenn Caruso put it best when he said: “He’s a great student, he’s a great man, he’s studying to be a priest, and by the way he happens to rush for 2000 yards and score over 30 touchdowns. Here’s a guy who’s really a microcosm of how you want your team to look like, and how you want them to live their life with proper balance.”
Now, back in the Stagg Bowl for the first time since 2012, the Tommies are faced with perhaps their biggest challenge of the season. An experienced 11-time National Champion Mount Union team whose seniors have been to four straight Stagg Bowls.
But behind a balanced attack, both on the field and off of it, we should be in for a real treat.
The link below takes you to Jordan Roberts’ story I did exclusively at NCAA.com. To find out more about his amazing journey and season, go on over and give it a read:
St. Thomas football: Seminarian Jordan Roberts leads Tommies to Stagg Bowl